NCAA Basketball Countdown: #2 Baylor

After being a top 5 team for most of the year and national championship contenders last season, we find Baylor right back at the top to start the season.

2019-20 Record: 26-4

National Championship Odds: +800

Big 12 Championship Odds: +165

Key Returners

Jared Butler: 16.0 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 3.1 APG

MaCio Teague: 13.9 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 1.9 APG

Davion Mitchell: 9.9 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 3.8 APG

Key Newcomers

Adam Flager: Presbyterian Transfer

Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua: UNLV Transfer 

Dain Dainja: 4 Star Center

LJ Cryer: 4 Star Guard

Upcoming Games

DateOpponentTime (EST)
11/25#18 Arizona State (N)* 8:30 pm
11/26#3 Villanova or Boston College (N)*6:00 pm or 8:30 pm
11/29at Seton Hall3:30 pm
12/2#8 Illinois (N)9:00 pm
12/5#1 GonzagaNoon
12/8Nicholls StateTBA
12/13#19 TexasTBA
12/19at Kansas StateTBA
*Game has been cancelled due to Coronavirus in Baylor program

Season Preview

Baylor took a massive jump to the top of the college basketball world last season and returns the production that made them successful. Jared Butler and MaCio Teague passed up entering the NBA Draft with one goal on their mind, a National Championship, which is possible this season. The Bears have a tough test to start their season. Head coach Scott Drew has tested positive for COVID-19, which resulted from them pulling out of the Empire Classic and losing a potential matchup with #3 Villanova.

As far as the team goes, this Baylor team is very talented, but the problem is, will they continue making strides to improve? Last season, everything clicked, with Butler, Teague, and Gillespie all becoming stars. Returning 2 of these 3 as well as newcomer Adam Flager who averaged nearly 16 points a game at Presbyterian gives the Bears a very deep and talented backcourt. Thanks to the return in production, they rank first in KenPom’s preseason rankings. Butler will be the Bears’ key to success this year. With a very balanced team but with a very balanced team, he will not be required to score every time down the floor.

This Baylor team’s bottom line is to continue to take steps forward and not slow down throughout the year like they started to do last year. Mark Vital will play a significant role in replacing Freddie Gillespie’s rebounding numbers. If he and the somewhat inexperienced frontcourt can hold up, they will be just fine because there are no problems in the backcourt.

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